Highlight of the Scottish Open at the weekend, apart from Brandon Stone's putting, was the twitter row between Ian Poulter and a marshal who accused him of being an "arsehole" and using him to gain an unfair advantage in the tournament.

Poulter and the marshal....crime writer Quintin Jardine

Poults met the marshal after hitting his drive into a bush beside him. The ball was visible in the bush and the marshal was careful not to disturb it.

As it turned out the marshal was a well known crime writer named Quintin Jardine and he was quick to post a wordsmiths account of the incident on his blog and send it to the European Tour.

Excerpts from the since deleted letter read....

"I am one of dozens of volunteers who have been contributing to the success of the Scottish Open," he wrote. "I don’t do it for the meal vouchers or the shirt, but to help my golf club make the event a success, and for the benefit of my home village. I certainly don’t do it to be abused by a competitor."
"Mr Poulter arrived in a shower of expletives and asked me where his ball was. I told him and said that I had not ventured into the bush for fear of standing on it. I wasn’t expecting thanks, but I wasn’t expecting aggression either."
"He told me in essence that I should have, his reasoning being that if I stood on the ball it was a free drop, whereas if he did it was a penalty… He (later) came back at me and said again that next time … I should go straight in there feet first."
"Industrial language doesn’t bother me," said Jardine "but truculent aggression does."

Poulter himself responded to Jardine protesting his innocence.

 “It's a shame if he has misunderstood my explanation to him. I was trying to help him out. I don't abuse volunteers.”

​He then wrote a further explanation on Twitter:
"Extremely sad to see a marshall has wrote in and complained about me aiming abuse at him on the first hole.

"I asked if he found my ball and his response was "it's in there somewhere" "I didn't want to step on it" I replied "if you stand on it I can replace it without penalty but if I stand on it I will get penalized"

"Venting at myself like I do at times, I said a couple of choice words aimed at myself. I do not abuse Marshall's. I may have done in my early years.

"After I played my shot I said to the Marshall "I'm not frustrated at you I just want you to know the rule incase you come across the situation again. He said ok thanks."

But the pen is mightier than the tweet and it was Jardine's last words that were felt strongest.

"I would like him to be reminded that even though most of the world knows you’re an a---hole, there’s no need to go proving it to the rest."
"I will take his apology as read, but if he wants to make it in person, I’m not hard to find in Gullane."
Jardine has now removed the post from his blog and explained why.

Seems that Mr Poulter has disputed my account of our exchange yesterday. Now I’m having email abuse from pond life and bottom feeders. I don’t need that.

The only way I can get rid of it is by deleting the original post. In retrospect I should probably have kept the dispute private, but it’s out of the box now, and I must rely on the Tour to make a judgement.

Mr Poulter has gone public to his two million Twitter followers with his version of events. All I can say is that I stand by mine and at no time did I ever utter the words ‘OK thanks.’ What I did say was ‘Vive Les Belges.’ Now I wish I’d said ‘Come on you Spurs,’ as that really would have pushed his buttons.

I still hope to hear from him, but I don’t expect to. That won’t bother me, not a bit.

And the moral of the story? Never mess with arseholes or marshals.

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